March 12, 2010

Video Game Sales Dropped Again In February

Video game sales in the United States dropped 15 percent in February, partially due to an ongoing decline in sales of music games and lower pricing on the Nintendo Wii console.

Americans spent 1.26 billion dollars on video game software, systems and accessories in February, down from 1.48 billion dollars a year ago, according to market research firm NPD Group on Thursday.

February is generally a slow month for the video game industry, which earns most of its money during the holiday season. Even so, some high-profile titles, including "BioShock 2" from Take Two Interactive and "Dante's Inferno" from EA Inc, were launched during the month.

NPD Group analyst Anita Frazier said in a statement: "I had expected the industry to perform somewhat better this month."

Fewer hit games coming into the market and the shaky economy has made the video game industry see declining sales of video games for more than a year. Even with top-seller "BioShock 2", video game sales have dropped 15 percent from the same time last year.

Analysts also reported that declining popularity for games like "Guitar Hero" and "Wii Fit" are also dragging down game sales. Jesse Divnich, an analyst at Electronic Entertainment Design and Research, said that's to be expected.

Gaming system sales have dropped by 20 percent from the same time last year, partly due to a 47 percent drop in Nintendo Wii sales for the last quarter. Nintendo reportedly was seeing a shortage of consoles after the holiday rush.

Nintendo's competitors fared better in unit sales. Sony's PlayStation 3 console jumped 31 percent in sales, while Microsoft sold 9 percent more Xbox 360 systems than the same month last year. Microsoft has also grabbed the top spot for its Xbox 360 for the first time since "Halo 3" was released in September 2007, according to NPD's Frazier.


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